Marathon’s our chance to give a little back

Daniel Lloyd, with wife Victoria and daughter Isabella, is running the marathon to raise funds for the hospital that treated his daughter
Daniel Lloyd, with wife Victoria and daughter Isabella, is running the marathon to raise funds for the hospital that treated his daughter

Daniel and Victoria Lloyd remember all too well the moment their three-week-old daughter stopped breathing.

Victoria was feeding tiny Isabella when the Sheffield couple suddenly realised she wasn’t breathing.

Deborah Barnett is running to raise money for Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care

Deborah Barnett is running to raise money for Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care

“She just went limp,” recalled Victoria.

“I was screaming, but Daniel jumped in and knew just what to do. He managed to resucitate her before the ambulance arrived. He saved her life.”

Daniel used his knowledge of first-aid to get his daughter breathing again, before she was blue lighted to Sheffield Children’s Hospital, where she was diagnosed with a heart abnormality, called ALCAPA. The rare condition means the heart is pumping the wrong way, and at six weeks old, Isabella was taken for 14-hour heart surgery at the specialist cardiac centre in Leeds.

Today, aged five, Isabella is doing well, though she still receives regular care and check-ups at Sheffield Children’s Hospital. And dad Daniel, of Deepcar, is preparing to take on the Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon on April 9 to give back to the hospital that treats her.

I’ve had to dedicate a lot of time to training in recent weeks. My wife and children will run in the Sheffield Fun Runs this year, they’ve been behind me every step.

Daniel, said: “We can’t thank the hospital enough for everything they do for Isabella, as well as our son who comes for asthma treatment. Even though we have been through such an awful thing with Isabella, we always knew she was in the most capable hands.”

Daniel will be joined at the event by Victoria and Isabella, who are taking part in the fun run – with Isabella completing the course in her mobility buggy.

And the family are not the only ones taking on the 13 mile course to give something back. Gareth Unwin is taking on the half marathon in memory of his friend, Caroline Butcher, who lost her battle with cancer last year. He is running to raise funds for Carolinie’s Gift - a charity set up by Caroline before she died - to help provide financial support for Sheffield families affected by cancer.

“When she was ill, Caroline met people who were not in as ‘fortunate’ a position as she was,” explained Gareth, aged 35.

Sheffield Half Marathon - Gareth Unwin

Sheffield Half Marathon - Gareth Unwin

“She decided to spare some of her decreasing energy to set up a local charitable foundation with the aim of providing financial support to people battling cancer who didn’t have the same resources to call on as her. At a time when she was allowed to be thinking selfishly, she set about doing something truly selfless.

“In her memory this year, I am doing two runs - the Sheffield Half Marathon and the London Marathon. I’ve had to dedicate a lot of time to train for these events and my wife and two children have been behind me every step of the way. My son and daughter, aged three and six, will also be running in the Sheffield Mini Run this year.”

Kind-hearted Sheffield occupational therapist, Deborah Barnett, is donning her running shoes too, in an effort to raise hundreds of pounds to help a leading Sheffield charity continue its work with older people.

Deborah, aged 56, has seen first-hand the outstanding work volunteers and staff members of Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care do for older people in the city every single day.

“SCCCC are such a small charity, meaning every penny raised really does make a massive difference to the work they do,” said Deborah.

“The charity relies on fundraising and volunteers to function.

“One of the many valuable tasks the charity performs is to help patients without relatives to settle in once they’ve been discharged from hospital. They will often meet and greet patients as they return home, get them a cup of tea and sometimes shop for basic supplies. I have always found SCCCC staff to be friendly, cheerful and courteous, and nothing is too much trouble for them.

“I decided to take part in the Yorkshire Half Marathon when I found out that the route goes past Bents Green Methodist Church, where I attend. After suffering with an injury last year, at first I was concerned that I was being too ambitious - but I have surprised myself by rising to the challenge. I know that the atmosphere around the course is unbelievable and that’s one of the things I hope will get me across that finishing line.”

Woolley Wood School staff members, Basia and Laura, are taking on the challenge to raise funds to refurbish the school’s sensory room.

Basia said: “The sensory room is a real favourite amongst many of our children and provides a crucial part of their learning and therapeutic development. Upgrading the resources is a huge and expensive project and funding is limited.

“We’ve been training hard through the winter months and, armed with Jaffa Cakes and Jelly Babies, we will succeed!”

Whirlow Hall Farm is very proud to be the official charity partner of the 2017 Sheffield Mini and Junior Runs at this year’s Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon. Children taking part in the races are encouraged to raise a small amount of money to help a local cause - either a charity of their choice, or the official charity of the year, which in 2017 is Whirlow Hall Farm Trust.

Visit The yorkshire Marathon for more details on anything to do with the marathon, or to find out more about registering to take part this coming Sunday.

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